This was my first car and initially I was very happy with it. A cheap little banger that is cheap to insure.
The car can reach 40 mph with great ease, and feels fun to that point to the newly-passed.
Beyond 40mph the car is painfully slow on acceleration. Once up to 70 mph it can handle the motorway, but if your against the wind I struggled to get over 60 mph.
The wheel bearings wore out at virtually the same time. I didn't hit anything, so I can only presume wear and tear.
Cornering is actually quite fun at speed - but not advised.
Security is either a major risk or not one at all. I live in a bad area yet my car has never had unwanted attention. If they wanted to break into it the steering wheel lock wouldn't stop them - but they must realise that were the police to spot them - they would never escape. The dodgy choke would make things difficult anyways.
The cabin felt cramped initially, but soon I came to love it. The space inside is actually pretty great (I'm 6' 1") but by far the greatest advantage to the new driver is the visibility.
You can see everything around the car, especially the front. A lot of new drivers would avoid a lot of rear ending if they could see their own car.
Parking is a dream when you get used to the lack of power steering.
Boot space is more than adequate and I have easily fitted the weeks shopping and a load of tools in there.
Fuel economy is a respectable 40 mpg in city and about 50 mpg on motorway. Can't complain.
One final note is that the standard speakers are loud. Quite necessary due to road noise.
Unreliable however great fun to drive when it works. Get it up to 70 mph and you get the distinct feeling that you really are pushing the car to the edge - which is quite fun when you eventually get there. Do a thorough check over the car to avoid unwanted reliability issues, but if the boxes are ticked, superb first car.